While the focus on illegal migration remains, the original goal of stopping African citizens from migrating into Europe appears to have been lost entirely. Instead, the declaration pronounces African legal migration to be a positive thing, even stressing the beneficial idea of migration of certain groups, such as researchers and business people.
No one seems to ask how draining Africa of skilled labor, such as businessmen and researchers, is going to help the continent develop and thus stem the trend of migration?
The Hungarian government appears to be the only government that considers whether the citizens it was elected to serve would support the declaration. Other European governments appear to think that asking their electorates what they think about African migration into Europe is irrelevant.
"Migration is a priority for all of us here" said EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, at the recent Fifth Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development in Marrakesh at the beginning of May. The conference is a part of the Euro-African Ministerial Dialogue on Migration and Development (also known as the Rabat Process).
The Euro-African Ministerial Dialogue on Migration and Development was founded in 2006 to contain migration from Africa into Europe, specifically, at the time, the increase of migrants crossing the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco into Spain and from there into the rest of Europe.
Dimitris Avramopoulos (center), the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, at the Fifth Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development in Marrakesh on May 2, 2018. (Image source: EU)
The 2006 Rabat Declaration established that the purpose of the process was to
"offer a ... response to the fundamental issue of controlling migratory flows ... the management of migration between Africa and Europe must be carried out within the context of a partnership to combat poverty and promote sustainable development and co-development".
In other words, Europe would fund development and anti-poverty measures in Africa, so that Africans would stop looking for a better future in Europe. Almost 60 European and African countries, as well as the European Commission (EC) and the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are involved in the Rabat Process.
The founding document from 2006 also mentioned, as a brief addendum:
"...this partnership will also address the migratory phenomenon from all points of view deemed relevant by the partner countries, such as making better use of the potential of legal migration and its beneficial effects on the development of countries of origin and host countries".
It did not take long for the brief addendum on legal migration to take center stage. The Second Euro-African Ministerial Conference on...